The Holiday Inn of hotels is once again coming to Joplin, after the hotel's previous location was bought-out by DoubleTree Hotel owners.
Ground was broke today for what may seem to be an ordinary hotel for people familiar with Holiday Inns. But the owner of this property says the facility will bring state-of-the-art amenities to the Four States.
"What we're going to bring to Joplin is going to be first class," says Randy Shippy with KMG Hotels.
The new hotel will have 115 rooms. There will be a new full-service restaurant, an indoor saltwater pool, and a 35-hundred square foot conference center able to accommodate up to 350 people. But preparations are already underway for the additional competition this new hotel will bring to Joplin.
Officials with the Southwest Missouri Lodging Association say a new Holiday Inn will mean 23 hotels and motels in the city.
Members of the lodging association say business travel is essential for making business.
"The corporate activity of our local businesses really drive the largest share of room night demand in Joplin," says Pete Hall with the Southwest Missouri Lodging Association.
Lodging association members say, though, that at any given hotel and motel in Joplin, during most nights of the year, there's 60 percent occupancy. Lodging association members also say 60 percent is, overall, what it takes for a motel hotel in Joplin to break-even.
"That goes way out of proportion when we go through June, July, August," says Shippy.
Summer months mean more sporting events that draw tourists. So workers with Joplin's Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Joplin Sports Authority, are thinking about ways to increase the number of athletic events.
"If you notice, we just finished September. We have three weekends that are very heavy with local events. Those do help the impact," says Patrick Tuttle with Joplin's Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Despite attempts to attract more visitors to Joplin, local hotel motel owners say there could still be some Joplin lodging facilities soon closing.
"Hospitality. Do I see us replacing some other hotels? If they don't live up to those standards, they may have problems, struggling," says Shippy.
Owners of this new Holiday Inn say the project should be completed within nine to ten months, based on perfect weather. A more strong winter could push the completion date back a bit.
The new Holiday Inn will be near Joplin's Quality Inn off Rangeline Road.
Of interesting note, Pete Hall says baseball legend Mickey Mantle worked with owners to build the first Holiday Inn in Joplin in 1956.
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